Forty IS militants killed after rocket attack on Turkey

Forty IS militants killed after rocket attack on Turkey
US-led coalition strikes on Islamic State group positions in northern Syria have killed 40 militants, hours after a rocket attack on a Turkish border city.
2 min read
22 September, 2016
Kilis has been ravaged by months of rocket attacks from IS-held territory in Syria [Anadolu]

US-led coalition forces on Thursday killed 40 Islamic State group [IS] militants in airstrikes, hours after rockets from an IS-controlled area in Syria hit a southern Turkish town.

The positions where the three rockets were launched from were struck with 20 airstrikes, rockets and howitzers on the ground, a Turkish military statement said.

"As of 1800 hours [1500 GMT] clashes were continuing between [Syrian] rebels...and Daesh terror group elements who carried out a broad attack to take back areas they had lost," it said in a statement, using an Arabic acronym for IS group.

A gun position and seven buildings were among what was destroyed by the aerial attacks, the statement added.

This action came after rockets wounded eight civilians in the southern Turkish city of Kilis.

Six children were among those wounded, in what was the first attack on the city since Turkish-backed Syrian rebels advanced into IS-held territory in northern Syria to clear the militants from Turkey's southern border.

Kilis' mayor Hasan Kara said that at least eight of the injured people were Syrian nationals.

Since January, cross-border attacks have killed 21 people and injured 80 in the south central Turkish city.

This has provoked unrest in Kilis, where local residents have alleged that Ankara is not doing enough to protect them.

In April, Turkish police used tear gas to disperse protesters who has gathered after a rocket attack killed one person and wounded 26 others.

Last month, Turkish tanks entered Syria from Kilis province as part of operation Euphrates Shield.

The advance has supported Syrian rebels to clear the IS group from a from within a 90-km (55-mile) stretch from Turkey's border.

The campaign is also intended to halt the advance of Kurdish YPG fighters, who Ankara holds in similar contempt to the outlawed Kurdish PKK militant group it is fighting in Turkey's southeastern regions.